October 20, 2007
Ways to Find out How Your Donation is Really Spent
If you are like most people, you want to do everything you can to help out. Whether it is helping your neighbor in need or making a donation to your favorite charity, you are helping because you care. However, you may have heard some horror stories about so-called charities using donations in unscrupulous ways. How can you find out how your donation is really spent after you send it off to a charity? Here is a quick guide to help you sort out the maze when it comes to making donations.
Donate to Worthy Causes:
Of course you want to donate your hard earned money to a worthwhile charity. But with all of these organizations, how can you tell you are giving to the right charity—one that will use your money for good causes? One way to find out how your donation money is spent is to take some time to research charities and find the ones that are near and dear to your heart. There are many big name charities that you are have probably heard of that you know have good reputations. Charities such as the American Heart Association and the United Way are all good causes that will use your donations wisely. Also remember that charities don’t have to be big in order to make an impact. Your local pet rescue organization or your local women’s shelters are all worthy causes that are likely to use your money well.
Donate to Charities on your Own:
Another way to make sure your money is well spent when you give to any charity is to give your donations on your own. This means that you are better off not responding to solicitations from charities that you have never heard of. This is especially true after natural disasters, such as the case with Hurricane Katrina. It seemed that charities were popping up over night. Some were legitimate, while others were people in the business of trying to take your money to line their own wallets. If you want to make sure that your donation is going to be used correctly, you should stick to the charities you know and avoid all solicitations.
Do your Research:
If you find a charity that does sound very worthwhile, then by all means, don’t scratch it off your list just because you have never heard of it. This is when you should take the time to research the organization carefully. Check to see if it has a website, a contact phone number and a physical address. Fly by night operations will give you the least amount of information that they can so you can’t find them. Real charities will love to give you their information and you will always be able to call them to talk to someone. In addition, a real charity will give you information about how your donation is spent. This is a perfect way to help you sort out the good from the bad. Also, check to see that they have a tax id number. A real charity will.
As you can see, there are several ways to find out whether or not you are dealing with a real charitable organization or not. When you donate anything, whether it is goods, money or your time, you want to make sure that you are giving to a reputable organization that will use your donation for a worthy cause. It is always heartbreaking to hear stories about people who have given thousands of dollars to scam organizations. Just make sure you take the time to look into the various charities and do your research before giving anyone your money.